NLC calls on the federal government to enact legislation to level the playing-field between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers by giving state and local governments the authority to collect sales taxes on remote sales.
If you haven't already done so, it is not too late to let your Senators know you support the Marketplace Fairness Act, so they return to Washington on Monday, May 6, ready to vote YES!
Last week, the Marketplace Fairness Act advanced in the Senate by clearing its fourth procedural hurdle this year. Following last Thursday's cloture vote, the Senate adjourned for a one week recess and will return for final consideration of the bill on Monday, May 6 at 5:30 p.m.
NLC encourages you to please thank those who voted to end debate and ask for their continued support. The bill's supporters need to know you appreciate their votes to level the playing field for Main Street businesses and to allow local governments the opportunity to collect taxes owed. In addition, as some of those who voted against the motion to end debate may have done so for process reasons and not because they disagree with the bill's substance, it is good to ask every Senator for their support.
The Marketplace Fairness Act is one of NLC's top legislative priorities. It allows local governments to collect sales taxes on online and remote sales that already are owed. It does not create any new tax or increase any existing tax; it simply provides for the enforcement of state and local governments' authority. Additionally, the legislation aims to level the playing field between traditional brick and mortar retailers who are required to collect sales taxes at the time of purchase and the online retailers who are not.
In recent years, Main Street retailers have become local showcases for remote purchases by customers who believe they get a discount by not paying sales tax. On the contrary, these consumers are required to pay the applicable sales tax for their online purchases. While the brick-and-mortar retailer collects the sales tax at the time of purchase in a store, right now the responsibility shifts to the internet customer who is supposed to pay the sales tax when filing their annual state tax returns. However, most taxpayers are not aware of this responsibility and state and localities do not have the resources to enforce payment. This puts main street retailers at a five to ten percent competitive price disadvantage to remote sellers. Congress should provide state and local governments the option to collect the sales tax already owed under current law.
Legislative Priority: End the Online Sales Tax 'Break'
One-page issue brief outlining NLC's legislative position on leveling the playing field for hometown retailers, key messages to Congress and the Administration.